Friday, April 20, 2012

Eating like we own an organic farm (this is going to be difficult)

As I have mentioned, we moved to rural Alabama a year ago from Atlanta to start an organic farm.  Over the past year, my husband has had me watch and read a lot of information on farming, particularly mass food production.  It has been quite convicting because, although we generally eat a well-balanced diet, we are certainly not opposed to junk food.  Nor do we avoid the weekly stop at Wendy's or Zaxby's (and lately a Dairy Queen blizzard has been a fun treat).  Even with this said, I think my kids eat healthier than the average American child.  Fast food once a week is not bad, on average.  Ice cream from Dairy Queen every now and then is not bad, on average.  I do, after all, make them drink milk with dinner, avoid soft drinks, and eat their veggies or fruit with each meal.  Yes, this is exactly what I have been telling myself for years.

I recommend that everyone watch a documentary that tells the story of the food we eat.  Food, Inc. is a good one.  There are almost always mass-producing farm documentaries on PBS, too.  After all, we need to know what we are feeding our families.  Most of us care deeply about what their soul and mind intake.  We spend hours praying, searching, delivering what they need.  And we guard their hearts and minds, often asking God to do so, as well.  But we might not be as particular and protective with their bodies.  And the effects on our children, families, and society are going to be devastating.

Lunch was pretty good today: apple, carrots, brown rice, sweet potato crackers, and cheese
It's not rocket science, really.  Grains, produce, and fruit are covered with bug-killing poisons.  Watch a film of the crop pilots flying over and dumping tons of gallons of herbicides and pesticides on the food we buy in the stores.  Watch how cows, chickens, and other animals are injected with hormones and fed foods they do not naturally eat, all for the sake of fast growth, fast production, fast money.  It really is not a stretch at all to connect these foods with autism, cancer, autoimmune disorders, etc.  I will surely miss my Cheez-its, Campbell's soup, and Wal-mart's cheap apples for lunch.

It is very sobering.  Trust me, this all puts a major kink in my diet.  I grew up with Better Cheddars and Coca-Cola on the countertop waiting for me after school.  But I personally know the pain of being told my child might have a disorder on the autistic spectrum.  (Thank you Lord that we had the best of outcomes.)  And I have personally experienced cancer in my family.  And I can confidently declare that I am not willing to enjoy my Cinnamon Toast Crunch and conventional fruits and vegetables at the risk of having poor health, or causing my children or grandchildren to be at risk. 

Do not get me wrong, there are other things that factor into these diseases and disorders, both environmentally and genetically.  There is no easy fix.  And ultimately I am not in control of the universe.  But just like anything else I do as a human being/wife/parent, I am responsible for making the best choices I can.  So this week we are making the transition to organic eating.  It can be quite expensive, even for those of us with gardens and egg-laying chickens!  But it is important enough that I am willing to make sacrifices.  My children will not be involved in every activity that comes along.  Our clothes are always hand-me-downs or "gently used" (or from Target).  Furniture that we buy is also "gently used" or passed down from a relative.  I do a lot of home-made baking and cooking as opposed to pre-packaged, convenient, expensive stuff.  (Less activities for the kids=more time to cook)  We will eat more deer meat than cow meat, because we have a ton in the freezer from hunting season.  We will not be eating out, hardly at all.  Books we buy are used, if not from the library.  The list goes on and on...usually there are corners that can be cut.  It is very convicting to consider that I have been putting our clothing, furnishings, vehicles, etc. above our health. 
Organic chicken tortilla soup, UNorganice multi grain chips
My husband is trying to start a movement of selling organic fruit, veggies, and eggs at a price that is comparable to "conventional" food.  We hate that the price of organic food prevents people from eating well.  If you live in Alabama, check out our website at :  Just replacing conventional milk, veggies, fruit, beef, eggs, and chicken with organics is so huge.  (Even if you still eat your Cheez-its and Cheerios.)

This is all a transition for us.  It will be different and hard, even in today's market where organics are much easier to find.  Praying for diligence and perseverance.  Selfishly praying for tangible evidence of the results of healthier eating, because we will need that encouragement.  This is all going to be new and different.  My husband took the kids on an errand and they all came back with a Hershey bar. :)  And, I cannot seem to break my habit of having a Coke Zero in the afternoons.  Did I mention that I had to put an entire teaspoon of (organic) sugar on the kids' (Kashi) cereal in order for them to eat it this morning?  Oh well, baby steps.

1 comment:

Kimberly said...

:) We moved from Denver to rural Idaho to start our own organic farm. It's a whole different world.